Stay Connected With Members Through Virtual Church

With doors being shut all over the world, the virtual doors are opening up. Business, families, and churches are switching over to digital platforms for meetings and face-to-face communication. Social sites are rising in popularity, including Zoom.

Zoom is a complicated meeting system that continues advancing, year after year. While the complexities are helpful for large corporations and avid users, the average user just needs to know the basics.

Here’s what you need to know to leverage these tools to stay connected with church members and minister to others who are online.

The Basics of Zoom

Creating an account

Stay connected to your community through virtual meetings. Follow these beginner tips and steps to get your Zoom profile set up.

Step 1: Go to zoom.us on your browser.

Step 2: Click “Sing up, it’s free” in the top right corner.

Step 3: Enter your birthday information.

Step 4: Create a login, either with a work email or through Google or Facebook.

Be sure to download the Zoom application on your computer or phone for easy access to meetings.

 

Deciding which Zoom plan is right for you

Step 1: Go to zoom.us/pricing on your browser.

Step 2: Compare plans (Free, $14.99/month, or $19.99/month).

Step 3: Chose a plan and get to meeting.

With the money your church is saving in utility expenses, this platform is worth the investment for the growth of your church.

 

Scheduling a meeting

Step 1: From your profile, select “Schedule a meeting.”

Step 2: Fill out date/time information.

Step 3: To prevent Zoombombing, select “Generate Automatically” under “Meeting ID,” and create a password for the meeting. (Reoccurring meetings use the same ID and password.)

Step 4: Save the meeting and send out invites.

To further prevent unwanted users from accessing the meeting, have users register through their emails. This also helps to collect email address for future meeting invites.

 

Sharing a live meeting (paid version only)

Step 1: Start a meeting.

Step 2: Select “More” at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Chose to share live either on Facebook or YouTube.

Viewers can watch the meeting but cannot participate like those in the meeting.

 

Recording and sharing meeting

Step 1: Start a meeting.

Step 2: At the bottom of the screen, select “Record.”

Step 3: When the meeting is finished, select “Stop recording,” and the recording will be available when the meeting ends.

Step 4: Share file on your website, Facebook, or YouTube.

For information about copyright and licensing, watch our “How to Start a YouTube Channel for Ministry” webinar. Copyright information begins at 50:10.

 

Screensharing

Step 1: Start a meeting.

Step 2: Select green “Share screen” button at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: Select the up arrow on the right for “Advanced sharing options,” where you can restrict or allow attendees to share their screen.

 

Annotating your screen

Step 1: Share your screen.

Step 2: Select “Annotate.”

Step 3: Chose annotation option from the floating menu.

 

Using extra security

Create a virtual waiting room

After sending the meeting invite, participants will enter a “Virtual Waiting Room” where hosts can admit or remove pending attendees.

Step 1: Start a meeting.

Step 2: Select “Manage Participants.”

Step 3: Hover over participants, and select “Admit” or “Remove.”

 

Lock a meeting

To keep uninvited persons from joining a closed meeting, hosts can lock a meeting after all invited members have joined.

Step 1: Start a meeting.

Step 2: Allow all invited members admittance.

Step 3: Select “Security” at the bottom of the screen and check “Lock meeting.”

 

General Zoom tips

  • Toggle between “Speaker View” and “Gallery View” at the top right of the screen to only see speaker or see all participants.
  • Additional hosts are available with the paid version and can be added while scheduling the meeting.
  • In a large meeting, assign someone to monitor chat and questions.
  • Use Restream to stream your meeting to up to 30 different platforms at once.
  • Zoom automatically controls the bandwidth to what your device (phone or computer) can handle.
  • Not all features are available on every computer or phone.

 

Zoom tips for pastors

  • Share PowerPoints, videos, and demos to keep viewers engaged.
  • For song service, assign a leader and mute other participants to avoid Internet lagging issues.
  • Include Calls to Action (CTAs) for what you want visitors or members to do after the service.
  • Invite attendees to virtual Bible studies.

Zoom tips for teachers

  • Apply for free, upgraded features, like longer meeting times.
  • Use screensharing to teach lessons / show examples.
  • Annotate your screen to guide students.

 

If you would like to hear all of this explained in more detail, watch our webinar here.

For more information about Zoom’s features, visit their Settings page on your profile. 

 

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